“There is the life we learn from, and the life we live after that.”
This website is a gift to all who have benefitted from and promoted the idea that we can learn more about ourselves by taking a look back at the big picture of our lives. This life examination allows healing and growth, freedom and forgiveness.
Think about the last 24 hours. You must have read, watched, or heard a story. Much like the rest of our civilization, we have increased story telling and listening from those cave dwellers sitting around the cave campfire to writing, books, TV and now the internet blooms with billions of story bits.
A story is a part of being human. Those stories do much more than just entertain us though there is nothing wrong with entertainment.
People are impacted by stories in many ways, both by telling and by watching. We learn about ourselves and others. We can benefit from other’s mistakes. We connect. We empathize. We find ourselves as part of the diverse and unique individuals of the human race.
“The shortest distance between the truth and the human person is a story.”
Anthony de Muelo
Each of us carries our stories. Our lives of full of them. Some are tragedies and some triumphs. Some struggles, losses, and successes. People we love and to whom we attach ourselves. But also we carry the stories of our parents and grandparents, children, grandchildren, and our extended family. These live in us in pieces of memory and how we feel or avoid feeling about them. It isn’t often that we examine our lives from the perspective of a lifetime, or maybe only the old.
Therapy is by its nature mostly about small stories: my abuse, my relationship with my spouse, my depression, etc. Good therapists take as much history as they can. A long term relationship with a therapist can garner a close proximity to a life story. But is is a busy world and time and money are issues.
This website is about Reconstruction Therapy. There are several facets that it will focus on:
• Telling and reconstructing a life story
• Seeing a big picture of one’s life in the context of generations and history
• The facets of experimental therapy used in reconstruction
• The value of group therapy in telling stories and healing
In the mid twentieth century, psychology was in a creative period of growth and many famous people used their creativity to help others. Some of those were fads, like primal screaming. Some were downright harmful, but many great thinkers and therapists developed powerfully effective tools for psychological health.
One of the great ones in the field of family therapy was Virginia Satir. She was a charismatic leader, completely devoted to helping heal family relationships. She was a rare recognized woman in a field of famous men.
Her philosophy and life are in a separate section of this website. She coined the term “reconstruction”. In her family work, she believed that an understanding of one’s parent’s lives could help families heal and forgive. Thus families would function better. She did this with family trees and with sculpting. Sculpting was using other people to stand up in a group and stand in as a family members. A little like a still emotional photograph.
Her students took her ideas and created a variety of reconstructions. Sharon Cruse, who worked in the addiction field, added a variety of techniques that would help process feelings, understand the disease of addiction as a family disease, and promote forgiveness and healing. Reconstructions done in 4 day workshops throughout the country developed the experiential model in groups and many therapists trained by watching Sharon guide a reconstruction.
As the 21st century began, the reconstruction workshops became more and more rare. They required a great deal of work on the part of the client and the guide, they were expensive for the client and there was a sense that it took a charismatic person such as Virginia or Sharon to facilitate.
And yet, there are many aspects of reconstruction that can be pertinent for today. Through this website we hope to interest others in this possibility.